Are American gun owners potential domestic terrorists? The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution declaring the National Rifle Association “a domestic terrorist organization.” They blame the “epidemic of gun violence” in part on the NRA, which they accuse of using “its considerable wealth and organization strength to promote gun ownership and incite gun owners to acts of violence.”
There is no proof that the NRA ever incited anyone to acts of gun violence, and the organization has a long track record of promoting gun safety. But San Francisco can’t really be bothered with facts. If the board of supervisors looked at crime statistics, they might have to admit that most gun violence in this country takes place in cities like San Francisco that already have strict gun control laws.
Abusing the word “terrorist” is par for the course in San Francisco. Remember, this is the definitionally challenged city that calls convicted felons “justice-involved persons.” Funny how the board of supervisors wasn’t as concerned about terrorism when it voted in 2003 to encourage city employees not to cooperate with federal enforcement of the Patriot Act.
San Francisco’s anti-NRA resolution comes as part of a series of recent moves by liberals and progressives to marginalize law-abiding citizens who support the right to bear arms. Another troubling trend is increasing chatter about “red flag” laws that would empower the government to disarm those considered at risk of committing violent acts. The proposals are an outrageous abuse of due process rights. Protective orders (which are sometimes abused) exist to take action when someone is clearly unhinged and a threat is imminent. Is the real objective of the “red flag” proposals to establish lists of people who might one day constitute a threat based on a hypothetical mental or emotional state?
What criteria would be used to assess red-flagging? Who would establish them? Who gets to define who is too “troubled” to own a weapon? Some liberals might argue that anyone who voted for Donald Trump is mentally ill. Or maybe those seized with Trump Derangement Syndrome need to be kept away from guns?
It seems obvious that this process would be dominated by anti-gunners who would create an ever-expanding list of phony reasons why weapons should be confiscated from more and more law-abiding Americans. For example, in 2009, the Obama administration issued a report speculating that veterans returning from overseas war zones “could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.” This is exactly the type of evidence-free rationale that could be used to confiscate guns – and when the left gets honest, that’s the real objective they finally articulate.
Democratic presidential candidates are making more extreme gun control proposals than ever before. Some, such as South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, back banning future sales of assault rifles and having a voluntary buy-back program for the rest.
Former congressman Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rouke (D-Texas) caused a ruckus promoting a mandatory “assault” rifle buy-back program. “I was asked how I’d address people’s fears that we will take away their assault rifles,” he tweeted. “I want to be clear: That’s exactly what we’re going to do. Americans who own AR-15s and AK-47s will have to sell their assault weapons. All of them.”
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) plans to dispense with the Second Amendment altogether and impose gun control by executive order.
Disarming people by defining them as terrorists or crazy, or employing federal seizure authority, is only part of the liberal anti-gun effort. Another front is to attack the firearms industry and financial institutions that do business with it.
New Jersey is reportedly investigating new laws that would restrict which gun manufacturers the state would do business with, based on enforcing its red flag regulations and other rules. Retailers also are feeling the pressure. Some large banks have cut off credit card services to those selling guns who do not strictly adhere to arbitrary rules the banks seek to impose.
Walmart announced that it will stop selling handgun and “short-barrel rifle” ammunition, and asked customers not to open-carry weapons in states that allow open carry. Walmart will, however, continue to sell rifles and shotguns. This virtue-signaling move will have no impact on ammunition sales and could be a boon to mom-and-pop gun shops, many of which the retail giant has forced out of business. But seeking to curry favor with firearms opponents will alienate the large pro-gun segment of Walmart’s customer base.
Whether on the supply side or the demand side, opponents of gun ownership are growing increasingly imaginative, radical and determined to override the Second Amendment and disarm law-abiding Americans. The extreme proposals coming from Democratic presidential contenders will only help Republicans and defenders of constitutionally enshrined gun rights in the 2020 elections.
Chris Farrell is director of investigations and research for Judicial Watch, a nonprofit watchdog group. He previously worked as a counterintelligence case officer.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.